Here Is How To Launch A Full Fledged T-Shirt Business Online!

t-shirt printing business

Did you know that today's custom t-shirt printing industry stands at $3.64 billion, and the sales are expected to propel to $10 billion by 2025? Insane, right? Thus, it makes complete sense to start a t-shirt business online!

But certainly, if this is the market situation, you are not the only one interested in the t-shirt printing business. There must be many others too! But worry not, for here we have here the ultimate guide to craft the perfect t-shirt business plan and launch your very own online business!

So, why waste time? Let's start!

How To Launch A Full Fledged T-Shirt Business Online?

t-shirt business plan

#1: Start Off By Crafting A Business Plan

Yes, the word 'Business plan' might scare you a bit. But that's alright. You do not need to make a very high-end business plan, but just a document that will help you organize your thoughts and give shape to the ideas you have been storming in your mind otherwise.

So, what should you have in this 'basic' business plan? So, start off with these things,

  1. Identify your niche
  2. Jot down the financial aspects
  3. Identify your target audience
  4. Find a name, mission, and vision for your t-shirt business

You would have often heard or read about business advice related to identifying a niche. But indeed, it is that important! It helps you stand out and get traction from the right audience.

Say you want to sell t-shirts with funny technical quotes. But that is a niche too broad! A better approach would be to narrow it down to say t-shirts with funny slogans for programmers or ethical hackers or even petroleum engineers!

But keep in mind your t-shirt business plan evolves along with your business. It keeps changing as your business changes. So, keep refining it and building over it!

#2: Find Out Your Ideal eCommerce Solution

With everything from burgers to ships being sold online, t-shirts certainly have an excellent online market! Even if you are planning on opening a physical store, it is always better to open an online store as well alongside. An online presence is a must these days.

But when you decide to open an online store, you first need to determine what platform you want to use for it- WordPress, Shopify, or something else.

WordPress and Shopify are both pretty simple to make your online store on. But we prefer Shopify. It is more sales-oriented, and the payment gateway integration is very smooth and efficient. And would you like to know a secret? Ours is also a Shopify t-shirt business website! But we would still say, do not get biased, research the main features of all the platforms and make a fair decision.

custom printing

#3: Which Printing Method Would You Use?

Once you know the target audience you want to serve and the kind of money you have to put into your business, the next decision you need to make is the printing method. Why? You may think!

There are different printing techniques like heat transfer, DTG printing, screen printing, embroidery, etc.

But each has the number of t-shirts it can produce in a single lot. Also, the cost of t-shirt printing equipment and the complexity of your designs etc. It all varies from one to another.

So, let's see a bit about every technique to have an idea about each one. However, we advise you to research all the methods deeply before starting!

Printing Technique

How Is It Done?

Size of Lot

No. of Colours

When Not To Use It?

Screen Printing

Colours permeate through a silkscreen

Bulk t-shirts

Until 4-5 colours

Smaller batches and too many colours

DTG Printing

Similar to an inkjet printer but on fabric

Smaller batches

Complex designs

Large batches and equipment is expensive

Heat Transfer

Design or image is transferred through an iron or heat press

Any size

Depends on the heat transfer technique

Time-consuming with complex designs


Done using thread and needle

Small batches

Better viable for one or two colours

It does not allow for intricate designs

If you want to start small, our advice would be the best t-shirt printing machine for small businesses would be screen printing. It is excellent for mass production and still gives you bandwidth for experimenting.

But hands down, the most high-end t-shirt printing business equipment has to be the DTG printer. It gives you complex designs, but the initial cost is high. Also, the batches produced are small.

So, it all boils down to the kind of target audience you cater to and the initial funding you possess.

#4: Find A Dependable T-Shirt Supplier

The next step in setting up a t-shirt business online is to select an excellent, dependable t-shirt supplier. In a business, providing quality is always essential. And the whole struggle is about still making a profit while using quality raw materials.

In our case, you need to use good quality blank t-shirts and sell custom t-shirts at the lowest costs and still make a profit in between. Which you would never be able to make using retail t-shirts! Thus, find a good wholesaler!

Somebody who houses branded wholesale apparel at minimum costs and also ships them fast. There is no point waiting for your blank apparel for weeks before you can start printing them! You could lose so many orders that way!

Plus, they should have a lot of variety and have them in stock when you need them. Moreover, they should have dependable customer support. After all, it would help if you had somebody you could approach for answers when in need.

Northern Blanks provides you with branded tagless blank apparel at the minimum cost. And we house a wide variety of blanks! We have blank tees, hoodies, sweatpants, accessories, etc. So, when you need to diversify, you already have a dependable supplier. Also, we house about 50 brands with endless variety in fits, sizes, colours, styles, materials, etc. So, rest assured you will find the exact blank you need!

We have warehouses all around Canada to ensure you get your blanks at the earliest. And what's more, you get free delivery on all orders above $349! And lastly, we have responsive customer support that will gladly attend to your queries whenever you need it!

t-shirt supplier

#5: Put In Place An Effective Logistics System

One of the primary aspects of a good customer experience is fast delivery and also good packaging! Well, you do not need to compete with Amazon, and your customers will understand you. But still, being as fast as possible is in your hands! And do you know fancy yet cost-effective packaging can go a long way in making the whole experience unique for your customers!

For small businesses, packaging orders at home is the most cost-effective and efficient way. After packing, you can get it picked or drop it off at a shipping agency of your choice.

But if it has been some time you are into this business, you have expanded or are starting big; it is best to set up a third-party logistics (3PL) company. A 3PL company will take care of your warehousing and fulfilment needs.

It all functions like you ship your products to this 3PL company, and they take care of orders as they are received. This saves you time and money, given you are functioning at that scale.

#6: 3..2..1..0 It's Time To Launch!

So, finally, it's time to hit the internet. Make your store on the eCommerce platform you chose above.

Click some fantastic photos of your very awesome t-shirts and upload them on your website. Also, upload these photos on the social media accounts of your brand. Advertise correctly and invest in the digital marketing of your store.

Lastly, please invite your friends and family to your online store and ask them to share news about it and spread the word.

#7: Launch Your Marketing Campaign As Well!

Having great t-shirts is not enough! People must know that you have them so that they can buy from you.

You may have the best custom t-shirts in Canada. But people need to know about them. And you can make that happen in a variety of ways!

  1. Optimize your store for search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc.
  2. Advertise on social media. Rave about your products on platforms like Instagram.
  3. Make email lists and launch email marketing campaigns
  4. Put efforts in the word-of-mouth promotion
  5. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your products
  6. Invest in flyers, business cards and other printed media
  7. Buy a stall in local fairs and exhibitions
  8. Sponsor teams and events in your area, etc.

There are these and more ways to promote your brand and build awareness. But whatever you do, analyze results. Find out where your customers hear about you. Invest in channels that are giving results. And maybe if you follow all the above steps, you will be doing a great job at your t-shirt business!


There has never been a better time to start a custom t-shirt business online. But like all businesses, whether offline or online, this also takes perseverance and patience.

You need to be different from your competitors and focus on your USP.

Keep trying to design the best apparel and also keep trying to market them in the most effective way possible.

If you are willing to put in the grit and dedication that starting a business involves, sooner or later, you will reach your goal. Just trust your journey!

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

Q. Is an online t-shirt business profitable?

A. Certainly, yes! Global t-shirt retail sales have reached $1.9 trillion in recent years. And there is a rising demand for custom printed t-shirts, which if you can satiate, you can set up a profitable business.

Q. Can I start t-shirt printing without setting up my store?

A. Yes, you can. Websites like TeePublic allow you to do so!

Q. How much can I make through my t-shirt business?

A. Though it is subjective to your efforts, your niche, etc., many sellers are making $100,000 selling custom t-shirts.

Q. Do I need a license to sell t-shirts online?

A. No, you don't. Though check out for a resale license to dodge sales tax while purchasing blank t-shirts.

Q. Can northern blanks suffice all my wholesale clothing needs?

A. Yes, we certainly can! We have the most comprehensive product range and complete infrastructure to meet all your requirements. We deliver everywhere- Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, etc.